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StemCAPtain - not a bike lock, but a bike CLOCK


March 23, 2011

The StemCAPtain replaces your bicycle's handlebar stem cap with one that incorporates a clock, compass or thermometer(All photos courtesy StemCAPtain)

The StemCAPtain replaces your bicycle's handlebar stem cap with one that incorporates a clock, compass or thermometer
(All photos courtesy StemCAPtain)

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Consider your bicycle's handlebar stem cap for a moment. It's right there in front of you as you ride, yet it tells you nothing. Colorado mountain bikers Graeson Lewis and Mike Hogan obviously thought that just wasn't good enough, and decided to put the humble stem cap to work. The result is their product, the StemCAPtain, which replaces a conventional cap with one that incorporates a waterproof analog clock, thermometer or compass.

First of all, yes, a cyclocomputer would give you all that information and more. Bicycle computers can be expensive, however, and even if they weren't, not everyone likes them. A wristwatch also does a pretty bang-up job of telling the time, although some people don't wear one, or would prefer not to while cycling – who likes a sweaty watch band, or an untanned area on their wrist in the shape of a watch?

To install the device, you just remove your old stem cap with an allen wrench, replace it with the aluminum base of the StemCAPtain, then push in the clock or other insert of your choice. A silicone gasket on the bottom of the insert should keep it snug and rattle-free. If your headset has already been properly set up, removing and replacing the cap shouldn't cause anything to go out of adjustment.

If you have any round pictures handy, you can also get a cap that simply acts as a picture frame. Lewis and Hogan are planning on future inserts that feature a bottle opener, altimeter, LED light, or a "digital multifunction device."

The StemCAPtain is available through the company website, and various retailers. Prices range from US$19.95 for a mini version of the clock, to $26.95 for a tilting version of the compass with a non-magnetic mounting bolt.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth



Stupid. Something else that can be easily stolen when you lock up your bike. As for the \"expensive cycle computer\" argument, a quick search of the big bike sites finds several bike computers in the $20 to $25 range from companies including Cateye and Bike Planet, all of which have many more functions, quickly detach when you leave your bike, and will be more shock-resistant than an analog movement. This is just another fashion accessory.


I think this is a great idea and the bicycle industry should move more into integrating more functionality into the handlebar and stem. Plus it looks great, too.


I like anything that uses the bike\'s dead space and doesn\'t clutter up the handle-bar. I need an adapter just to use a computer with my new ergonomic handlebar, that still doesn\'t give me a compass, and if I wanted to see the temperature I would need to scroll through a lot of other functions. I can\'t see anyone stealing a watch which can\'t attach to strap either (assuming they even realise that it can be wriggled out).

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